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12/04/2013 11:45 am ET

Kaveh Kamooneh Arrested For Charging Electric Car At Chamblee, Georgia Middle School

When a suburban Atlanta man plugged his electric vehicle in to charge last month, he probably didn't expect to end up under arrest.

Kaveh Kamooneh started charging his Nissan Leaf from an external outlet at Chamblee Middle School while he watched his son play tennis on a Saturday, reported WXIA. About 20 minutes later, he discovered that a Chamblee police officer had arrived to charge him with theft.

How much worth of electricity did Kamooneh use in 20 minutes? "4 1/2, maybe 5 cents, depending on the rate," he told WXIA. He was arrested 10 days later and charged with "theft by taking without consent."

"A theft is a theft," Chamblee Police Department's Sgt. Ernesto Ford told the NBC affiliate. "He broke the law. He stole something that wasn't his." Ford said he would "absolutely" do it again.

"I agree that 'theft is theft,'" Kamooneh said. "I don't agree that every taking without consent is theft." He argued that people aren't arrested or prosecuted in Chamblee for drinking water from a spigot, or even charging laptops or cell phones in public places.

Kamooneh said he will fight the criminal charges.

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